Knowledge Work Standardization,®
Robotic Process Automation
& AI Implementation Experts.

The Lab is a business transformation consulting firm that implements standardization-based improvement,
deep digitization, and data-driven process excellence for Fortune 1000, large, and mid-sized companies.

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What is Virtuous Waste? Click to Watch the Video

Standardization Based Business Improvement The Road Less Traveled

Manufacturers standardize, specialize, and ultimately automate the work in their conventional “downstairs factories.” “Industrializing” hourly work is an investment.

Today, white collar knowledge workers represent half of all employees. Yet little or no investment is made to industrialize their work.

As a result, forty percent of their activity is wasted and avoidable.

This opportunity is a tempting target for digital upstarts, activist investors and other outsiders. If you’re typical, you don’t notice.



BELIEF No.1 Only factory work can be "industrialized"

Conventional wisdom assumes that standardizing work in the “upstairs” factories of marketing, finance or order management is impractical or impossible. But downstairs factories once made the same claim.

Work is work. Industrializing the assembly of a car is vastly more challenging than industrializing a marketing campaign. But you don’t think of knowledge work that way.

All work has valuable, repeatable patterns, but few executives recognize knowledge work repetition.



BELIEF No.2 Knowledge work can't be standardized

You let knowledge workers decide how to improve their operations. Their work is perceived as non- routine.

But analyze what knowledge workers do. You discover that two-thirds of their work is repetitive and similar. That’s valuable. Basic shop floor techniques — industrialization — can easily standardize these repetitious activities.

Long ago, craftsmen’s work on the shop floor was seen as “non-routine.” After standardization, productivity increased fifty-fold.

The same untapped wealth hides in plain sight in knowledge work.



BELIEF No.3 White collar waste is "virtuous" & unavoidable

In the plant, waste like scrap material or machine downtime is obvious. Reducing it is inarguably valuable.

Knowledge work waste is less obvious. It is error correction, customer over-service or rework.

Point it out as avoidable waste. Knowledge workers will argue that they are preserving revenue and serving customers.

True. But industrialization eliminates the root causes and avoids these tasks.

If you’re typical, you accept these avoidable tasks as indispensable or even virtuous.



BELIEF No.4 Knowledge work can't use the experience curve

In a plant, knowledge accumulated over decades—the experience curve—is valued and documented. It is built into workflows, tools and work area design.

Employees change, but a factory can consistently produce with variance measured in parts per million.

In an office, the experience curve exists as unwritten “tribal knowledge.” These poorly documented assets are diminished each time a worker leaves.

New hires devise their own personal work methods. They reinvent individual experience curves.



BELIEF No.5 Core-technology will automate knowledge work

When manufacturers automate, they begin by making the products and tasks simple and standard for machines to handle. This industrialization step is called “design for machinability.” It delivers higher productivity with fewer workers.

When knowledge workers automate, they simplify and standardize very little. They don’t industrialize.

They view much of their work as “non-routine,” and non-standard. Consequently, knowledge workers adopt core-technology but retain flexibility, inconsistency and workarounds.



The Lab Recover Your Earnings with Standardization

The Lab is a management consulting firm focused exclusively on business process standardization. The Lab developed the world’s largest database of standardization templates. Our template-based advantage delivers 3-5 times more standardization than any other method.

Each of The Lab’s engagements is self-funding and includes a money-back guarantee. Our projects pay for themselves in 6-8 months and deliver 2-4x payback in the first year.

For over two decades, The Lab has successfully implemented standardization initiatives with Fortune 500 clients that deliver consistent, sustainable benefits.


What is…Knowledge Work Standardization®?

Today, white-collar workers represent the majority of the workforce. Yet little investment is made to standardize their work. As a result, forty percent of activity is wasted, avoidable, or automatable. The Lab’s patented process and data standardization solutions rapidly eliminate this waste, which hides in plain sight, erodes hard won earnings, and limits automation.



You’d be amazed to learn just how much redundant effort and rework are hiding inside your organization, right now. Watch this fascinating video which shows how The Lab uncovers—and eliminates—this insidious “virtuous waste.”

Banks and Credit Unions

Reg. D Violation Letters

Let The Lab “park a bot” on this tedious chore!

Retail Branch BI Analytics: Map View

See your branch network’s performance with real-time dashboards!

PPP Automation

Watch a robot process applications at 12x human speed!


P&C BI Analytics: Map View

Visualize your actuarial data to pinpoint claims activity!

P&C BI Analytics: Management View

Spot claims leakage—and take action—before it happens!

Direct Bill Commissions Reconciliation

Use bots to eliminate errors—while working 12x faster than humans!




The Lab’s Tactics Reduce "Hidden" Waste

Conventional tactics reduce tangible waste

  • Scrap
  • Returned goods
  • Idle time

Tangible waste remediation activity is widely viewed as “low value.”

The Lab reduces intangible, “Virtuous” Waste

  • Error correction
  • Customer “over-service”
  • Manual “work-arounds”

Intangible waste remediation activity is often viewed as “value added.”

Intangible, Virtuous Waste activity consumes 25-40% of organizational capacity - it hides in plain sight.

The Lab Standardizes Knowledge Work

Early 1900s

Manufacturers invested in a disruptive business model – industrialization. They forced the simplification and standardization of factory work. Productivity increased dramatically.

Example: Henry Ford industrialized auto manufacturing by forcibly specializing and standardizing work activities. Productivity increased almost tenfold.


Companies invest in costly technology, hoping to “subtly force” white collar knowledge workers to standardize and streamline their own work activities. Productivity growth remains stagnant.

Example: A Fortune 500 insurer invests heavily in application processing software, yet their error rate for newly issued policies is 3 times the industry average.

The Lab’s methods simplify and standardize knowledge worker activities to increase productivity without new technology.

Non-Core Technology Improvement

Improvements that require no new core or workflow technology outnumber core technology-dependent improvements 3-to-1 (75%)


These Class I improvements require no new technology, strategic or regulatory changes

These non-core technology improvements are highly similar and fall into 4 major categories…

  1. Inefficient Business Processes: Rework, errors, redundancy, missing data, employee downtime
  2. Mis-Served Customers, Markets: High priorities are under-served, low priorities are over-served
  3. Under-Managed Capacity: Work tasks, capacity and metrics are not documented, quantified or managed
  4. Measurement Imbalance: Revenue and volume metrics are over-emphasized; productivity, quality, service and unit cost are under-emphasized

Template-Based Advantage

process-icon-comparable-business-1Every business is unique…

process-icon-comparable-business-2but the business processes are comparable…

process-icon-comparable-business-3and the work activities are identical.

The Lab’s templates take advantage of inherent similarities in business operations.

Don’t re-invent the wheel.

By using the world’s largest database of business improvement templates, The Lab is able to help clients:

  • Find more improvements
  • Achieve more benefits
  • Accelerate the results

Self-Funding Business Improvement

Most projects pay for themselves by month 6 of the implementation.


Our guarantee:

Financial benefits realized during the first full calendar year following implementation will, at minimum, equal the client’s investment in The Lab’s services. If not, The Lab will continue working without charge until they do, or refund the difference.

Guaranteed Results

How does The Lab eliminate risk for clients?

WEEK 0Fixed-Price Proposals: Proposals are based on labor cost and include all document production expenses.

WEEK 1-2Compatibility Checkpoint: During the first two weeks, clients may cancel the engagement for ANY reason and receive a full refund (minus travel cost incurred).

WEEK 3Opportunity Validation Point: If The Lab discovers that a self-funding improvement opportunity does not exist, we will provide a full refund.

WEEK 6-8Analysis Phase Guarantee: The Lab will deliver a set of ‘quick hit’ improvements with benefits that will exceed Phase I expenses.

WEEK 8-32Implementation Phase Guarantee: If an improvement program we implement fails to generate savings at least equal our fees in the first year, we will continue working without charge until it does or refund the difference.

  • Virtuous Waste ®

    The Lab uncovers hidden waste disguised as good, honest work effort: Virtuous Waste. Virtuous Waste typically consumes 40% of organizational capacity.

  • Knowledge Work Standardization ®

    The Lab uses time-tested techniques pioneered during the Industrial Revolution to standardize knowledge work and recover earnings lost to Virtuous Waste.

  • Non-Core Technology Improvement ®

    The Lab identifies and implements overlooked business operations improvements that require no new core technology.

  • Template-Based Advantage ®

    The Lab uses a database of business improvement templates to capitalize on the similar root causes, remedies and benefits of non-technology improvements.

  • Self-Funding Projects

    The Lab’s template-based projects pay for themselves. The Lab’s clients are typically in the black 6 months after implementation begins.

  • Guaranteed Results

    Each of The Lab's engagements includes a self-funding, money-back guarantee to eliminate risk for both client organizations and project sponsors.

Enhance Your Existing Core-Technology Investment,
Improve Your Customer Journeys, Increase Your Margin.

Standardizing business processes, operations data, and customer journeys helps your business grow while reducing cost.

25+ Years of large-scale business analysis, implementation, and transformation experience
Years of large-scale business analysis, implementation, and transformation experience
200+ Client Businesses in the Fortune 1000
Client Businesses in the Fortune 1000
1000+ Transformation Projects Completed
Transformation Projects Completed
50 States Clients with Operations in Every State in the USA
50 States
Clients with Operations in Every State in the USA
10 Provinces Clients with Operations in Every Province in Canada
10 Provinces
Clients with Operations in Every Province in Canada
2-4x Guaranteed Return-on-Investment in Year 1
Guaranteed Return-on-Investment in Year 1
10-30% Increase in Revenue Productivity
Increase in Revenue Productivity
20-50% Improvement in Customer Experience
Improvement in Customer Experience

Clients We Have Served

The Lab’s has standardized processes and data for clients from financial services to manufacturing, and everything in between

Want the answers?


If you want to learn more about the patented Knowledge Work Standardization® methodology that The Lab employs to make robotics so successful, this is the one book to read:

  • Identify elusive RPA & AI use cases
  • Understand how to standardize knowledge-work operations
  • Drastically reduce operating costs

The Knowledge Work Factory is your one-stop guide for RPA, and a whole lot more. Harnessing the code-cracking secrets to productivity improvement rooted in industrial automation, this book makes it easy to apply The Lab’s patented Knowledge Work Standardization® to your everyday operations.

  • See how factory-like bills of materials or BOMs can transform white-collar operations.
  • Learn what your general ledger and a grocery store have in common.
  • Discover how to uncover the RPA & AI use cases that are hiding in plain sight.

Best of all, The Knowledge Work Factory is a fast-paced, page-turning read, packed with fascinating information that you can put to use immediately.

These are the precepts that The Lab uses for its Fortune 500 clientele—and that you, too, can apply on your own. Written by one of The Lab’s founders, it puts 25-plus years of experience in your hands, all in one simple guide.

  • Mandatory reading for my team.
  • A unique contribution to the field of white-collar productivity.
  • There’s real money buried in your white-collar workforce and this book tells you where and how to mine it.

Standardizing business processes, operations data, and customers journeys helps your business grow - resiliently.

With templates to speed-up transformation efforts and reduce “reinventing the wheel”, and a team of excited standardization pros to help you, standardizing your business processes and data for IT implementation, artificial intelligence, robotic process automation, analytics (+ more!), has never been easier.